(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Every Monday Todd Graham holds a press conference to discuss the previous week and Arizona State’s upcoming opponent. We’ll try to decipher what exactly the second-year Sun Devil’s head coach is saying during his often long-winded, sometimes funny, and always entertaining and informative media sessions.
Note: All quotes were transcribed by Sun Devil Athletics.
Graham: I am very proud of our guys and how hard they played. We put ourselves in a position to win. Give Notre Dame a lot of credit. That 53-yard field goal was pretty impressive. I thought it was out of his range. Really proud of our guys effort. Really close in a lot of things. We only had the ball for two minutes in the first quarter. We had a couple of opportunities in that first drive. The biggest thing that hurt us in the game was we did not have enough opportunities, not enough plays offensively.
Translation: I am very proud of our football players; too bad the coaching didn’t live up to the hype in this one. The kids played hard, but we couldn’t run the ball, couldn’t adjust to what Notre Dame was doing, and once again, Arizona State couldn’t deliver in its biggest moment.
Graham: We spent a lot of time on the run defense. I do think we have improved greatly there. We are just making too many mistakes. We are not going to play anybody the rest of the way that are going to run the ball any better than the teams we just played.
Translation: The run defense finally played pretty well, and I’ve completely forgotten that Washington has this kid named Bishop Sankey, who is probably the best running back we will play against all year. But somehow, we’ve already played the best running teams we are going to play.
Graham: I think Cameron (Smith) has a lot of potential. Obviously, still a young guy and still trying to figure things out. Kevin (Ozier) has been a steady force for us. He continues to be the leader of that group. Jaelen is getting better every week.
Translation: What I’m really trying to say here is that I don’t know why coach Norvell or myself keep letting Rick Smith on the field. Not to pick on the poor kid, but his fumble really changed the dynamic of the Notre Dame game.
Graham: They are playing a lot better defensively. Their defensive coordinator has done a great job with their defense and varying what there doing and being sound in what there doing. That was probably their biggest weakness last year was their defense. They have got some playmakers. Their wide receiver went for 75 against Oregon.
Translation: It’s Colorado. I can’t sit here and tell you they are awful, so I’m going to lie about what they are good at. They’ve given up 44 and 57 in two Pac-12 games, so that tells you how much their defense improved. They do have a stud at receiver, I wasn’t lying there. Too bad the quarterback isn’t any good.
Graham: Obviously, the caliber of teams we have been playing and where they’re at right now is a little different. Guys think that this will not be as big a challenge and you can’t do that. You have got to bring it because they can definitely beat you. There is not anybody in the Pac-12 that can’t beat anyone.
Translation: See: Washington State vs. USC.
Graham: We got sacked four times on drop back passes and three of those came in the late drives. After watching our offensive line, Kody (Koebensky), Jamil (Douglas), and Vi (Teofilo) will tell you that those boys were pretty big. I thought our guys battled well.
Translation: New recruiting goal: go find a few offensive lineman who actually weigh 300 lbs.
You can reach Jason Galvin on Twitter @Jason_Galvin or by email firstname.lastname@example.org